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Archive for April, 2012

Illinois Teen Faces Burglary Charges

April 30th, 2012 at 11:58 pm

According to a story on ChicagoTribune.com, Brandon M. Hurley, a 19-year-old Gurnee man, was arrested on April 22 and charged with two felony counts of burglary after having been found with stolen electronics in his vehicle.

According to the story, the burglaries took place on April 20 in the Estates of Churchill Hunt Subdivision. Police received a call around 9pm and responded to investigate claims of a suspicious looking person wearing a black ski mask and black gloves. By the time the police arrived, the man was no longer loitering near the open garage where he was spotted.

While in the Churchill Hunt subdivision, police stopped Hurley and found numerous stolen electronics in his vehicle, and he was arrested. They are continuing the investigation. Hurley was released on Sunday after his first court appearance; his bond was set at $30,000. Arraignment will take place in May.

A knowledgeable criminal attorney can help those who are facing criminal charges to avoid the harshest penalties, or even have the criminal charges dropped. Whether a person is guilty or not, facing criminal charges can be scary and unexpected; an experienced attorney be there to guide the accused through the legal system to a personalized and positive outcome.

Defending yourself against criminal charges without the help of an experienced Chicago  criminal defense lawyer can have extreme consequences. If you or someone you know has been arrested and charged, contact a top Chicago criminal attorney who can help you successfully fight your criminal charges.

Illinois Mother Charged with Two Felony Counts

April 27th, 2012 at 12:11 am

An Eligin mother has been charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and of aggravated battery in a public way. Anita R. Joost, 46, is facing two felony counts for an incident involving her 16-year-old daughter and another 15-year-old girl.

According to a report in the Daily Herald, police say Joost’s daughter told her the other girl, who Joost’s daughter had problems with, wanted to meet her at Shadow Hill Park to talk and try to resolve their issues. The daughter told her mother she wanted to physically fight the other girl. The mother agreed and drove her to the park.

The police claim that once they arrived at the park, the girls began talking but Joost told her daughter to “Kick her (butt).” At that point, the daughter tried getting the other girl to fight by calling her names and intimidating her.

When the 15-year-old refused to fight, Joost used her cell phone to record and take photos of the confrontation. She then instructed one of her daughter’s friends, who was watching the incident, to tell her daughter to either hit the girl or leave. The two girls struggled, with the daughter pushing the other girl, punching and pulling her hair. When the teens separated, Joost threatened the 15-year-old.

The report also says that Joost and her daughter admitted their involvement in the fight and police have the recordings from Joost’s phone. She is currently being held on $50,000 bail and if found guilty faces between three and seven years in prison. Joost could also receive up to four years probation or a $25,000 fine.

If you’ve been charged with a felony in Illinois, or any type of crime, you need the experience of a qualified Cook County criminal defense lawyer to defend you. Consult with a top Cook County criminal defense attorney.

Image courtesy of Graeme Weatherston

Embezzlement in Illinois

April 24th, 2012 at 11:41 pm

According to the Chicago Tribune, the Naperville Public Library’s board president has resigned amid embezzlement allegations. Napervillle police say that a warrant for 63-year-old Jerry Feldott’s arrest on theft charges was issued, and that Feldott turned himself in at the DuPage County Jail on April 19th.

Feldott is accused of embezzling $25,900 from the North Edgewood Homeowners Association, between 2007 and 2012. His arrest came following a two-month police investigation instigated when the association’s president and vice-president reported the missing funds.

John Spears, the director of the Naperville Public Library, says that Feldott resigned from his board position via e-mail. Feldott is the owner of and a broker at Feldott & Associates, Ltd., a Naperville real estate firm.

Another recent news story tells of Dixon, Illinois, where the town’s comptroller was recently charged with embezzling nearly $30 million from the town, which had an annual budget of $8 million, to fund her horse training business.

Embezzlement is one of a group of crimes known as white-collar crimes in Illinois. Although it may lack the grandeur of other types of criminal charges, an embezzlement conviction can lead to severe penalties. If you’re facing embezzlement charges in Illinois, a top Cook County embezzlement defense lawyer may be able to get your charges reduced or dropped. If that is not a possibility, an experienced Cook County criminal defense lawyer can advocate for you to receive the least sentence possible. Embezzlement lawsuits should be taken seriously and handled by a skilled Illinois criminal attorney.

Naperville Police Arrest 10 On Drug Charges

April 22nd, 2012 at 10:45 pm

According to the CBS Chicago, on April 11, 2012, over thirty police officers swarmed several apartment complexes in the Naperville, Illinois area and arrested ten individuals for narcotic-related charges. The apartment buildings are in the Jefferson Avenue, Testa Drive, and Encina Drive area.

Apparently, the Naperville police were responding to a dramatic increase in telephone calls to the department alleging safety concerns. Sergeant Gregory Bell has stated the telephones pertained to suspected drug activity to trespassing. As a result of these calls, the police initiated Operation Clean Sweep to put a stop the so-called disturbances.

The Operation began  when the police bombarded the area, with nineteen police vehicles, at approximately 1:00 pm. The police continued the Operation for nearly ten hours, and left the area at about 11:00 pm.

The police stopped more than twenty vehicles, freely handing out warnings, tickets, and even arresting a few residents. Further, the police conducted a search warrant at an apartment occupied Tyrone Townsend, on Testa Drive where they uncovered a sophisticated pot-growing operation with 46 marijuana plants. Mr. Townsend was charged for producing or possessing more than 20 but not more than 50 marijuana plants, possession of more than 30 but not more than 500 grams of marijuana, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia and endangering the health or life of a child because 3 children with special needs were inside the apartment during the raid.

Mr. Townsend was just one of 20 individuals arrested during the Operation. Another individual was arrested for driving without a license and another man was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia.

These types of Operations in the Chicagoland are not uncommon and may happen without any warning. If you are driving through a neighborhood during an Operation such as this, it is possible that a cop will find something to cite or charge you with. If you’re facing drug charges in the Chicago area, it’s highly recommended that you hire an experienced Naperville drug crime defense lawyer to represent you in your criminal case.

U.S. Authorities Locate Suspect in Fatal Illinois DUI Case in South Korea

April 17th, 2012 at 10:46 pm

In 1996, Kyung Ho Song was charged with DUI and reckless homicide after he drunkenly plowed into a broken-down station wagon on Lake Street in Bartlett, instantly killing Ecuadoran immigrant Sonia Naranjo. Song told a Cook County court that he was was a shoe store manager making $12,000 annually, and was released after posting a $2,500 bail bond deposit. In reality, Song owned a strip mall, a large home in Schaumburg, and additional commercial property valued at over $1 million. Less than two years after the incident, Song had liquidated all of his assets, withdrawn his guilty plea to the criminal charges, and fled the U.S. for his native South Korea.

Some 15 years later, the Chicago Tribune reporters contacted Cook County authorities about the case that had lain dormant for years. The police resumed their search for Song, and in December, 2011, located him living in Seoul, South Korea. Although law enforcement officials state that they intend to pursue the case, they have not yet taken any action to contact South Korea about extraditing Song. It is unclear at this point whether any extradition efforts would be successful.

As this case illustrates, criminal charges, especially when severe in nature, can follow a person for the rest of his or her life. Song still faces the possibility of extradition and incarceration for a crime committed 15 years ago. Likewise, if you are convicted of a crime, your criminal conviction will become a permanent part of your criminal history in most instances.

If you are charged with any type of crime in Illinois, and especially very serious crimes, you should take every effort to avoid a criminal conviction. In order to have the best chance of avoiding a conviction, contact a top Cook county, Illinois criminal defense attorney for assistance.

Chicago Teens Arrested for Disorderly Conduct

April 14th, 2012 at 5:38 pm

According to a recent Chicago Tribune story, two teenagers showed up to a fight with another teen and his father in Downers Grove with bats. Due to an ongoing feud between two former friends over the past year, one teen challenged the other to a fight. The other teen and his friend came to the fight brandishing baseball bats, which they held up to the teen and his father as if they were going to hit them. When the pair heard police sirens approaching, they put down their bats, and did not actually strike any blows. Police arrested the teens for disorderly conduct and confiscated their bats. The teens later were released to the custody of their parents.

Although disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor charge under Illinois law, it still will become a part of your permanent criminal record if you are convicted. As a result, you will be required to report this criminal conviction on employment applications and disclose your conviction in other situations for the rest of your life. Additionally, a disorderly conduct conviction can carry a sentence of up to 30 days in jail and payment of a fine of up to $1,500.00. Therefore, the penalties for a disorderly conduct conviction can be quite severe.

If you are facing a disorderly conduct charge, you will need experienced representation to assist you throughout the legal process. A skilled Chicago criminal defense attorney can assert any defenses to the criminal charge that you might have, as well as present evidence in your favor that may reduce the consequences of or altogether avoid a criminal conviction. A Chicago criminal defense lawyer with experience handling juvenile crimes is essential for teen offenders.

Illinois Lawmakers Change Definition of Forgery for 2012

April 11th, 2012 at 10:04 pm

While state lawmakers made several changes to the Illinois Criminal Code for 2012, one major change involves the broadening of the definition of forgery under Illinois law. A forgery offense is a Class 3 felony, which carries a penalty of a prison sentence ranging from two to five years, as well as a fine of no more than $25,000, and restitution in an amount of no more than the total amount of the victim’s loss. As the penalties for forgery are quite severe, it is important that everyone realize what types of conduct constitutes forgery under the Illinois Compiled Statutes.

Forgery occurs when, with the intent to defraud, a person knowingly makes a false document or alters any document so that it is false, and the document is capable by its appearance of defrauding another. Additionally, forgery occurs when a person issues or delivers such a document, or possesses the document with the intent to issue or deliver it.

In the past, a document had to appear as if it were created by another person in order to qualify as the crime of forgery. The revisions to the law, however, state that the document can be a forgery even if bears the name of and is signed by the person who actually made the document.

The revised forgery statute simplifies the elements of the crime. As a result, the state must only prove that a document is false and that it is capable by its appearance of defrauding another person in order to prove that someone committed the crime of forgery.

If you or a family member is accused of forgery in Illinois, it is essential that you have legal representation in order to protect your rights. Contact a Cook County, Illinois, forgery defense lawyer today for the legal assistance that you need in this situation.

DUI Checkpoints in Chicago

April 9th, 2012 at 11:37 pm

DUI Checkpoints in Chicago Chicago police routinely establish DUI checkpoints in an attempt to nab drunk drivers, especially during holidays that commonly involve alcohol drinking. Legally defined, a DUI, or “sobriety” checkpoint is a temporary roadblock regulated by local law enforcement that stops certain vehicles in order to determine if the driver is intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. In addition, drivers who are stopped will be asked for registration, license and proof of insurance. They may also be ticketed even if they are not impaired for not wearing a seat belt, expired license and a host of other traffic infractions.

If a DUI checkpoint officer who subsequently suspects you of being intoxicated, you have the right to refuse a field sobriety test. Sobriety tests involve walking a straight line, reciting the alphabet, standing on one foot without falling or touching your nose with your right then your left index finger. A Chicago DUI checkpoint police officer may also want you to take a breathalyzer test in order to determine the alcohol content in your blood. Legally, you can refuse this test as well but consequences for refusing a breathalyzer may be more serious than an uncontested DUI charge. However, be aware that while an office can ask to search your car, he or she has no legal grounds to do so unless granted a search warrant by a judge.

Before establishing a DUI checkpoint in the Chicago area, law enforcement must inform the public through local news announcements or other public advertising that a checkpoint will be in place at a certain location on a certain date. It is illegal for police to set up random checkpoints that are unannounced and unknown to the public. In addition, drivers are not stopped based on how they are driving. Instead, Chicago area police use a mathematical calculation to determine which cars they pull over at DUI checkpoints.

Overly aggressive checkpoint officers are intent on arresting as many supposed Chicago DUI offenders as possible. If you were detained at a sobriety checkpoint and arrested for impaired driving, contact a Chicago area attorney as soon as possible. A Rolling Meadows, Illinois DUI defense lawyer can assist you in possibly overturning your case as well as determining whether your rights were violated during the checkpoint stop.

Posted in Uncategorized

Cook County Prosecutor Drops Gun Charges Against Englewood Illinois Resident

April 5th, 2012 at 10:22 am

Law enforcement officials recently arrested 80-year-old Homer Wright for unlawful possession of a handgun after he shot and wounded an intruder who had broken into his Englewood home and tavern, which he has operated for over 40 years. The Chicago Tribune reported that Wright kept a gun to protect himself and his wife after experiencing multiple break-ins at his tavern, and having also been robbed at gunpoint. Unfortunately, Wright is a convicted felon due to two decades-old weapons convictions, one in 1994, and the other in the 1960s.

Amid uproar by community leaders and activists, Cook County prosecutors dropped the charges against Wright, “in the best interests of justice,” according to a spokeswoman for the state’s attorney’s office. In a community that has grown increasingly dangerous and violent over the years, the public overwhelmingly came out in favor of Wright, believing that Wright acted solely in self-defense in a dangerous situation.

This case renews the gun law debate in Illinois, especially in light of the recent shooting of Trayvon Martin in Florida by a neighborhood watchman. Illinois has arguably the most restrictive law in the nation when it comes to citizens and their guns, as Illinois is the only state in the nation in which it is illegal to carry handguns in public. However, Illinois does have a so-called “castle law”, which allowed Wright to defend his home with potentially deadly force if a burglar enters his home through violence or force. It seems that prosecutors concluded that Wright’s only crime was illegally possessing the handgun – not using it to defend himself.

As you can see from Wright’s case, restrictive gun laws in the state of Illinois often result in criminal charges for otherwise law-abiding citizens. If you find yourself in such a situation, you will need the assistance of a Cook county criminal lawyer in order to defend against these charges. It’s critical that you retain the services of a skilled Chicago criminal defense attorney who can provide the legal assistance that you need and deserve.

Underage Driver Facing DUI Charges for Fatal Chicago Car Accident

April 3rd, 2012 at 12:33 am

The Chicago Police have charged the teenager driver allegedly responsible for a car accident that occurred around 2 a.m. on the morning of Monday, April 2. The accident happened, in the Brighton Park area of Chicago, and the driver told police that she had been drinking vodka and orange juice with her boyfriend at a nearby Chicago motel.

The eighteen-year-old faces misdemeanor DUI charges in the car wreck, which killed one man and injured five others. It’s possible that her DUI charge could be upgraded to a felony.She was also cited for failure to yield to the right-of-way, driving without a license, and driving without insurance. The woman was taken to the hospital with hand and arm injuries, where she was arrested. The current condition of the other injured drivers is unknown.

Under-aged drinking is a real problem. Unfortunately, young people make decisions about drinking and driving without having a real understanding of the potentially devastating consequences. One bad decision can result in life-altering consequences, including serious criminal charges.

screenshot via Chicago Tribune

In the state of Illinois, anyone 18 and over who receives a DUI is charged as an adult, and faces the same serious legal consequences as an over-21 DUI offender. In Illinois, a Class 4 Felony DUI can result in up to 12 years imprisonment. Even less severe DUI charges can bring a driver’s license suspension, probation, and significant fines. Young people facing DUI charges should seek the advice of an experienced Cook County DUI defense lawyer.  

Posted in DUI/DWI

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